Posted in Home Economics, Homeschool Information

Culinary Arts in the Homeschool: Enjoy Cake Decorating

Are you enjoying home economics in your homeschool? One of the benefits of homeschooling is having the time to teach your kids all the skills they will need to use after they leave the nest, and being able to make it a fun part of your homeschool day! Another great benefit is that your kids can focus on a home economics subject if it’s one of their passions, such as the culinary arts – including cake decorating.

cake decorating

Culinary Arts in the Homeschool:

Enjoy Cake Decorating

The culinary arts are a big hit with both my 18 year old son and my 13 year old daughter. My son has even been working in a kitchen for two years now. They each started helping me in the kitchen when they were toddlers and could cook simple meals by the time they were 6 years old. Many days, you can find my kids both singing and dancing to music in the kitchen while they cook homemade chicken nuggets and fries or beef stroganoff, or bake chocolate chip cookies or homemade brownies. I love moments like that – especially when I get to enjoy the fruits of their labour!

My daughter developed a particular interest in cake decorating, years ago. I’m no expert, but I love making fancy cakes for birthdays. Kids love piping frosting on cakes so we often allow guests to decorate their own cupcakes or collaboratively decorate a cake at her birthday parties.

At first, my daughter enjoyed simply baking cakes from scratch with me. Then she started to experiment with decorating them. A lot of her inspiration and information at first came from videos she watched through Always Icecream.

She started to get interested in making and decorating with fondant. I knew absolutely nothing about it, so we turned to Craftsy. There’s a great, free, step-by-step mini-course called Basic Fondant Techniques that has taught my daughter how to make fondant and use it to great effect! She has watched it countless times, and each time she wants to use one of the techniques, she watches the video while she works. My daughter has insisted on making her own birthday cakes for years now!

She made this dragon egg (nesting in the sand) cake for her dragon themed birthday party a few years ago:

Cake decorating

This cake is a masterpiece from a few years ago:

cake decorating

She also enjoys making fondant flowers:

cake decorating

And my daughter still loves having fun decorating with buttercream frosting as well. Here is a Pinky Pie (from My Little Pony) cake that she created freehand:

cake decorating

Craftsy offers a bunch of great, free mini-courses, many of them in the culinary arts, so be sure to check them out! And then, if your child loves them, they can move on to classes such as Advanced Fondant Techniques and The Art of Painted Cakes.

Does your child have an interest in the culinary arts? Do you have any fun ideas to share? Please let me know in the comments below!

If you’d like to see how other homeschoolers cover home economics and life skills in their homeschools, check out Add Life Skills to Your Homeschool at The Canadian Homeschooler.

Love, Luck &


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Please note: This article was originally published in October, 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Homeschool Information

Yet Another Homeschool Advantage

I have shared about homeschooling advantages and benefits in other Blog Cruise Posts, such as The Key to Avoiding Homeschool Burnout, Time For Extracurricular Activities! and We Love Field Trips!.

Another Homeschool advantage is children being able to learn life skills they will need as adults.  Since homeschooling children are at home with their parents, they get to see and engage in all the regular household routines.  Cooking, cleaning, and household maintenance are all things they can easily learn at a young age.  Because my son was helping me with breakfast every morning, by the time he was 6 years old he would make pancakes from scratch and bacon all by himself.  In our household, we have morning, afternoon, and evening routines (a la Flylady).  My children, aged 7 and 12, both know how to:

  • cook and bake from scratch (my 7 year old with a little help from me since she is a beginner reader at the moment)
  • sew buttons, mend
  • do their own laundry
  • wash dishes and/or empty and load the dishwasher
  • clean the house – they each have daily responsibilities, and weekly we set the timer and pull task papers from a jar
  • make cleaning supplies from scratch
  • go shopping, i.e. for groceries
  • use a bank and a bank machine

In addition, my son knows how to do basic carpentry and has built us a coat tree.  He also knows how to chop wood, build a fire, and bleed the furnace.  My husband has taught him some automobile maintenance basics.

In future, we will teach them how to make a budget and keep track of their income and purchases.  My son will start learning that as he launches his own home business shortly.

I love how they learn a lot of this just by being here as I’m going about the daily routine.  It’s amazing how much children are capable of if you let them try.  This will prepare them so well for leaving the nest someday.  They will be able to grow into capable, independent young adults, knowing how to take care of themselves 🙂


Love, Luck &